“Stacking blocks played a big role in my life. One of the main drivers that pushed me to become an architect was my childhood experiences playing with stacking blocks.” That’s Kengo Kuma, one of the most significant Japanese figures in contemporary architecture and the one who is creating the new Tokyo National Stadium, which will be the main venue in the 2020 Olympics.
Any architect will tell you that, structurally, a triangle is the strongest geometric shape. Kuma has taken this wisdom and rendered it into a playful and interactive building set called Tsumiki, which literally means wood stacking in Japanese.
Satisfyingly smooth to touch, each piece is crafted with Japanese cedar. Nifty notches cut into the tips of each block allow them to nestle atop the other. They make great building blocks for the inquisitive mind, offering a range of creative possibilities no matter what their age. Tsumiki stacking blocks come in sets of 7, 13 and 22-piece sets and starts at $75.
The product was developed in collaboration with More Trees, a forestry conservation organization founded by the musician Ryuichi Sakamoto. All their wood is sustainably sourced Japanese cedar from Miyazaki Prefecture and is certified by a Japanese forest stewardship council. More Trees returns a portion of sales to help sustain Japanese forests, creating a healthy cycle of wood usage.